A ten-week limited commercial run opens Jan. 21 at The Actors Playhouse in Greenwich Village following previews from Jan. 16 and a late-2006 test run at 59E59 Theaters. Performances continue to March 25.
The musical comedy by Scott Brown and Anthony King is directed by Obie Award winner Alex Timbers and stars Christopher Fitzgerald and Jeremy Shamos, who also appeared in the New York Musical Theatre Festival run of the show in September 2006.
"In this two-man musical spoof, a pair of aspiring playwrights, Bud Davenport (Fitzgerald) and Doug Simon (Shamos), perform a backers' audition for their new project — a big, splashy musical about printing press inventor Johann Gutenberg," according to the producers. "With an unending supply of enthusiasm, Bud and Doug sing all the songs and play all the parts in their crass historical epic, with the hope that one of the producers in attendance will give them a Broadway contract — fulfilling their ill-advised dreams."
Among characters cooked up by earnest hacks Bud and Doug are Old Black Narrator, Beef Fat Trimmer, Monk, Young Monk, Bootblack and a love interest named Helvetica.
Gutenberg! The Musical! is presented Off-Broadway by Trevor Brown, Ron Kastner, Terry Allen Kramer and Joseph Smith in association with the Upright Citizens Brigade Theatre. The company of Gutenberg! The Musical! also includes Ryan Karels. The show has musical direction and arrangements by T.O. Sterrett. The musical has lighting design by Tyler Micoleau and costume design by Emily Rebholz.
Gutenberg! The Musical! marks the first Off-Broadway transfer for the acclaimed Upright Citizens Brigade Theatre, where the show was originally developed in 2003. UCBT showcased an excerpt of the musical at the 2005 New York Musical Theatre Festival as part of the NYMF Comedy Series.
The musical subsequently had its world premiere in a critically acclaimed production at The Jermyn Street Theatre in London in January 2006. All of these presentations and productions were devised and performed by the authors, Scott Brown and Anthony King.
The U.S. premiere of Gutenberg! The Musical!, starring Christopher Fitzgerald and Jeremy Shamos, was presented in September 2006 as part of the third annual New York Musical Theatre Festival, where it received three NYMF Awards – one for Excellence in Musical Theatre Writing (Book) for Scott Brown and Anthony King, and two for Outstanding Individual Performances for both Fitzgerald and Shamos.
The Actors' Playhouse is at 100 Seventh Avenue South. The performance schedule for Gutenberg! The Musical! will be Tuesday through Friday at 8 PM, Saturday at 7 and 10 PM, and Sunday at 3 and 7 PM.
Tickets for Gutenberg! The Musical! are scaled at $25-$50 and are now available via Telecharge.com at (212) 239-6200.
For more information, visit www.gutenbergthemusical.com.
The songlist of Gutenberg! follows:
"Prologue" - Doctor, Friend of Gutenberg, and Gutenberg
"Schlimmer!" - Woman, Gutenberg, Daughter, Another Woman, Beef Fat Trimmer, Drunk #1, Drunk #2, Bootblack, Anti-Semite
"I Can't Read" – Helvetica
Haunted German Wood - Monk and Young Monk
"The Press" - Gutenberg, Old Black Narrator, Helvetica and Company
"I Can't Read" (reprise) - Young Monk
"Biscuits" - Young Monk and Bootblack
"What's The Word-Woman" - Beef Fat Trimmer, Another Woman, Friend of Gutenberg and Monk
"Stop The Press" - Monk and Helvetica
"Tomorrow Is Tonight" – Gutenberg, Monk, and Helvetica
"Second Prologue" - Daughter and Bootblack
"Words, Words, Words" - Gutenberg, Drunk #1, Drunk #2, Helvetica and Full Company
"Monk With Me" - Monk and Gutenberg
"Go To Hell" - Helvetica and Chorus
"Festival!" - Full Company
"Finale" - Full Company
This production of Gutenberg! played 59E59 Theaters Nov. 21-Dec. 31, 2006. The run's success inspired the current limited engagement.